Construction has started on a $10.3 million project to build housing for farmworkers and their families on West Bakerview Road.
Each building will be four stories.
The project, called Bakerview Family Housing, will have a playground, community area, commercial space and parking for farmworker families living in Whatcom County.
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It is expected to be done in the fall/winter of 2016.
The project will help meet needs in the community, said Steve Powers, the organization’s division director.
“We have extensive contacts with grassroots community organizations that directly serve the farmworkers, including church groups, social service agencies and cultural organizations,” Powers said. “We work with these groups to identify needs for housing and to reach out to families who need housing and who qualify as farmworkers under the state and tax credit definitions.
“Additionally, we did a third-party market study which identified a significant unmet need in the Bellingham and Whatcom County areas,” he added.
$1.6 million Money for the Bakerview Family Housing project from the Bellingham low-income housing levy
The project was among the first to receive funding from a new low-income housing levy made possible by Bellingham voters, who approved a property tax increase in November 2012 to help the needy and the homeless get into affordable housing.
The levy is expected to raise about $3 million a year for seven years for such efforts.
Money for the Bakerview Family Housing project is coming from a number of sources. It received $1.6 million from the Bellingham low-income housing levy, according to David Stalheim, the Block Grant Program manager for the city of Bellingham.
The city also waived $308,390 in impact fees, including the school impact fee of $46,160 after approval from the school district. Bellingham provides such exemptions to encourage organizations to build low-income housing.
The Washington State Housing Trust Fund awarded $2.2 million to the project.
The remaining money is primarily from private investment through low-income housing tax credits.
Dawson Construction Inc. is the builder.
Reach Kie Relyea at 360-715-2234 or email@example.com.